The best cycling TV to watch over Christmas 2019
Got cycling withdrawal symptoms? Can't make it out for a ride or simply taking time off the bike over the festive period? Time to catch up on sporting films and documentaries.
1. Geriant Thomas: The Road Will Decide (BBC iPlayer)
The BBC's latest documentary tells the story of the 2019 Tour from Geraint's personal perspective, with the honesty and humour that cycling fans have come to know and love of the Welshman. The film captures the gruelling intensity of his attempt to reclaim his title as he battles Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe. Challenged by extreme weather conditions and cancelled stages, the film captures Geraint in a new way, never before seen by audiences.
2. The Game Changers (Netflix)
Originally released in June and now airing on Netflix, the film boasts big names as executive producers, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, and Lewis Hamilton, and talks about the misconceptions around eating meat to support physical lifestyle and athletic performance in sport.
3. Belleville Rende-vous (rent for 99p on Amazon Prime)
This impressively inventive French animated feature from comic-book artist, Sylvain Chomet, is far too entertaining to be enjoyed only by children. The plot involves Tour de France cyclists, a French mafia kidnapping, and a club-footed grandma. What's French for "don't miss"?
4. Icarus (Netflix)
On 9 December 2019, Russia was handed a four year-ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). It means a Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics, or football's 2022 World Cup.
So how did we get here? Rewind to 2015 when filmmaker, Bryan Fogel, enlists the help of experts to help him highlight cycling's creaking testing system. One man in his team of consultants is Russian anti-doping official — and eventual Whistleblower — Grigory Rodchenkov. Before Fogel's eyes, the film he set out to make quickly evolves into a dramatic thriller, Oscar winner, and front-row seat to one of the biggest sporting scandals of the decade.
5. Wild Horses: The Silk Road Mountain Race (Vimeo)
You'll need a device rather than a traditional TV to watch this one. Given the prestigious 'Staff Pick' award, clothing brand, Pedal Ed, follow riders tackling the rugged — and often uncharted — Kyrgyzstan in the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race.
6. Red Bull Ice 2 Ice (RedBull TV)
Free to watch on RedBull TV via apps on streaming services or the RedBull website, Ice 2 Ice follows Michael Strasser's attempt to set a new world record cycling from Alaska across the equator to Patagonia. Will he make it and beat the current 99 day record?
7. GBDuro 2019 - EF Gone Racing (Youtube)
Pro cyclist, Lachlan Morton, tackles the 2,000km off-road race between Lands End and John o'Groats. He sets off with a Rapha film crew in toe, not knowing what is in store.
8. The Program (BBC iPlayer)
Ben Foster makes a gripping monster in the Lance Armstrong biopic. The film is available only until 30th December on the BBC's free iPlayer. If you look closely, you might be able to spot a few Condor bikes, which we re-dressed to create period correct props.